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3 Health Food Fake Outs and 3 Healthy Alternatives

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., RD, TheBestLife.com Lead Nutritionist

When you see “whole grain,” “low fat,” and other health buzzwords on a food label, you might assume you’re picking up a more nutritious choice. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Some products don’t offer much of an advantage compared to the original or, even worse, aren’t inherently healthy at all. Let me share a few examples.


Health Food Fake Out: Neufchatel (cream cheese with 1/3 less fat)

It’s true that this product has about a third fewer calories and saturated fat grams than regular. But still, just 2 tablespoons (an ounce) contains 3 grams of saturated fat—that’s a sixth of your daily limit on an 1,800-calorie diet. And the 33 milligrams of calcium it provides aren’t worth it.
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2 New Avocado Recipes: Cucumber Avocado Soup and Avocado Spread with Tomatoes

By Team Best Life – TheBestLife.com

Avocados take the starring role in many healthy recipes for a reason—they contain vitamins E and K, folate and fiber. Not to mention, they’re delicious! Don’t be scared off by all the fat; avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, the variety that can help lower cholesterol, especially LDL or “bad” cholesterol, which contributes to heart disease and other health problems. Still, to keep calories in check, you have to limit your intake of all fats, even the healthy kinds, so try using about a quarter of an avocado (about 60 calories of creamy deliciousness) in your favorite recipes.

How to Buy an Avocado

Avocados start green and turn black as they ripen. In the store, you should gently squeeze and examine avocados to find the right one for your needs: If you don’t plan on using it until later in the week, choose one that is green and firm. If you want to eat the avocado immediately, pick one that is dark in color and just slightly soft when you squeeze it.

How to Use an Avocado

To ripen a hard avocado, place it in a brown bag with a banana and it should be ripe in two days or so. If your avocado is ripe but you aren’t ready to use it, stick it in the refrigerator. You can also save parts of an avocado for later—just leave the pit in before wrapping it to help maintain freshness.

Avocado is delicious plain, and also works well in tons of recipes, including salads, wraps, sandwiches and spreads. Or, try one of these tasty Best Life recipes.
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How to Cook with Kale

Kale was a leafy green that I veered far away from as a kid. But now that I’ve matured and wised up to know that kale is one of the healthiest greens around, I’ve opted to include it in my diet a bit more often. For those only beginning to venture into the world of dark leafy greens, kale is a great place to start and often referred to as the “queen of greens” for its superior health benefits. There is a bounty of delicious recipes to pick from online (we share five below), most grocery stores and markets have it in stock, and it’s so diverse that chances are you’re bound to find at least one way to enjoy this nutritious green. 

Health benefits: For starters, kale – also known as borecole – is an amazing source of iron. In fact, it contains more per serving than beef, which is extremely beneficial as iron promotes cell growth, proper liver function, the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, and also transports oxygen throughout the body, according to MindBodyGreen.

Kale is also high in vitamin K and C, fiber, and cancer-fighting antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids. In addition, one cup contains 10 percent of the recommended daily amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect against arthritis, depression and autoimmune disorders, as well as promote heart health.
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Avoid the ‘Salty Six’ For a Healthy Heart

Do you know how much sodium is safe to consume on a daily basis? And perhaps more importantly, do you know how much sodium is actually in the foods you eat?  If you answered ‘no’ to either of these questions, the American Heart Association is here to help. The organization is seeking to provide some clarity on the topic of sodium with the introduction of its “Salty Six” – a list of six popular foods that are likely adding the highest levels of sodium to your diet.

It’s no secret that foods like canned soup and salty pizza made the list for their outrageous levels of sodium. But would you be surprised to know that bread and rolls ranked number one on the Salty Six and poultry and sandwiches followed not far behind?


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HealthBuzz November 9: Run for NYC, No GMO Labeling, Barack Obama’s Favorite Recipes, and Fall Soup Recipes

We are hours away from the weekend! Get ready with a healthy dose of news. We highlighted this week’s headliners from DIR which are GMO Labeling Losing in California, Marathoners Run to Recover NYC, and Nutristystem’s First Female CEO. Also we have headliners from the Atlantic.com, ABC’s Liz Neporent. Plus, see re-elected President Obama is eating at the White House and a healthy soup recipe from AroundThePlate.org.

GMO Labeling Didn’t Win the Battle in California, but We Haven’t Lost the War

For the past couple of months, millions united to educate the California electorate about GMO and Prop 37. Unfortunately, GMO labeling did not get enough ‘yes’ votes and there will be no law to inform consumers of what they’re eating. But those who were for GMO labeling are remaining optimistic, and we speak with Leah Segedie to understand why.

New York City Marathoners Run Anyway in the Race to Recover

Although the New York City Marathon was cancelled after Hurricane Sandy, runners still ran, but for a whole new cause. Hurricane Sandy left millions without power and a roof over their head. ING has transformed The 2012 ING New York City Marathon into “Race to Recover, which has raised about $2.6 million to assist those in need.

Nutrisystem Names Dawn Zier the Company’s First Female CEO

Female-centric brand Nutrisystem announced its new CEO this week, Dawn Zier, who will become the first female CEO for the company later this month. Zier will begin her new role on November 15, just weeks before “diet season.” It is unlikely that the company will have any major programs announced within the next couple of months, but it will be interesting to see what direction Nutrisystem takes under Zier.
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